Solar projects proposed for Sheridan, Dewittville | News, Sports, Jobs

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Two other smaller solar projects have been proposed for Chautauqua County, this time in the towns of Sheridan and Chautauqua.

On Tuesday, members of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency heard from two solar companies for two different projects.

SHERIDAN PROJECT

James Bedrin is Project Development Manager for Dimension Renewable Energy. His company is based in Atlanta and also has offices in New York. He said they have several solar projects underway in New York City.

In Sheridan, his company is looking to build two solar projects on a 100-acre lot that would be subdivided. The property is located on Werley Road and Harrington Road.

According to Bedrin, the two solar projects represent around 4.125 megawatts and can power more than 2,000 homes.

They worked with Sheridan Zoning and Planning Boards, who approved the project. A public hearing with city council is set for tonight, May 26, at 7 p.m. in the community building behind City Hall.

The county IDA board of directors has given preliminary approval for the projects. After passing the necessary resolutions, the IDA will hold its own public hearing and conduct a cost-benefit analysis for certain tax exemptions.

Rich Dixon, county IDA’s chief financial officer, expressed support for moving the project forward. “These are just a few of the renewable energy projects coming to our county. They benefit the landowner, they take advantage of our reliability to deliver green energy, and we are excited about these projects ”, he said.

DEWITTVILLE PROJECT

Omni Navitas Solar Energy Development is proposing a solar project to be placed on Hartfield-Stockton Road in Dewittville. The development would allow a 5 megawatt project and would be placed on 30 acres. The company seeks financial assistance through the sale, mortgage and property tax.

Dixon said the company and IDA are working closely with the town of Chautauqua on the project. “This is another exciting project for Chautauqua County”, he said.

Omni Navitas is located in Boston, Massachusetts.

The county IDA board of directors again gave preliminary approval to the project, which allowed the studies to move forward. The vote was unanimous.

Chautauqua City Council has scheduled a public hearing on June 14 at the regular monthly council meeting. Company officials said the zoning board had given its approval.

If full approval is given, Omni Navitas would like to start construction in September. The solar project would take about six months.

SOLAR PROJECTS CONTINUE

There have been a number of proposed and approved solar projects that have been submitted to the county IDA. Last month, IDA gave preliminary approval for two projects in the city of Dunkirk and gave final approval for two projects in Ashville.

In November, the county IDA approved a solar project in the city of Hanover and in June, the IDA approved a solar project in the city of Portland.

All solar projects approved by IDA also require approval from the local municipality’s board of directors; IDA only approves financial tax incentives.

In Pomfret, RIC Energy wants to clear part of what is now a wooded area on Van Buren Road, just past the Chestnut Street intersection, and erect solar panels there. The company offers landscaping and conservation of part of the 24.47-acre parcel, which adjoins a residential area on Bernett Drive in Fredonia, so neighbors cannot see the project. This development has experienced a certain setback on the part of neighboring neighbors as well as city officials. A public hearing is scheduled for June. This project was not presented to the county IDA for review.

In Ellicott, the city’s Zoning and Planning Council last week expressed its displeasure that the paperwork for a proposed solar project at 3365 N. Main St. Ext. and near the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport was not properly terminated. Storke Renewables offers two solar projects, both around 2 megawatts. This project was not submitted to the county IDA. Zoning and planning boards are expected to resume the project next month.

All of these solar projects are 5 megawatts and less. In Ripley, a 270 megawatt project has been proposed near the Pennsylvania border. The County IDA and the Chautauqua County Legislature heard from many residents expressing their support and opposition to the project. The county IDA gave its preliminary approval last summer; however, the developers have not yet returned to IDA for final approval. Late last year, county officials said they didn’t expect a final county IDA vote for several months and pledged to investigate the project.

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